- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is planning a trip to Israel.

Aides said Wednesday that de Blasio will make his first trip as mayor this summer.

De Blasio has championed Jewish causes. He denounced anti-Semitic violence in Europe at a major New York synagogue and in a recent trip to Paris.

He also loosened restrictions last week on an ultra-Orthodox circumcision ritual.

Courting the Jewish vote has long been a staple of New York politics due to its large and politically active Jewish population.

De Blasio has made other international trips since taking office, including a political conference in England and a vacation in Italy.

The Israel trip was first reported by The New York Times.

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